She NAILed It!: A Study in Quieting Our Negative Inner Voice
We all do it. It transcends age, race, gender, experience, and income level. It might be a defense mechanism. Perhaps it’s a way of justifying our shortfalls. Maybe we are anxious about becoming more successful. There’s even the remote possibility that we are subconsciously attempting to sabotage our careers. Whatever the motive, it’s time we put this thing to rest.
I’m referring to Negative Talk, or what author and career planner Kathleen Brady might describe as a stubborn voice inside our psyches that perks up at all the wrong moments, trying to convince us that we don’t have the chops to achieve our goals. This Negative Talk is the “N” in Kathleen’s NAIL summation of the challenges involved in personal energy management, and is undoubtedly the most realistic of these 4 emotional roadblocks to conquer. This first became crystal clear to me at the Women’s Advancement Compact’s September 18th “Energy Is Abundant” event, wherein Kathleen laid out those challenges for us, resulting in our 70 attendees responding passionately. It only took 30 minutes in break-out groups for participants to return with constructive, clever, optimistic and innately valuable techniques for troubleshooting the “N’s” in all of us.
As indicated by one group, a trap we often get caught in is the lending of too much creditability to someone else’s perception of us, thereby surrendering the power to perceive ourselves. Stress and anxiety are the evils hidden within the false perception, giving legs to that negative brain chatter. All of that “I’m not good enough/intelligent enough/attractive enough/emotionally strong enough” propaganda can be thwarted only by the individual, once the discovery is made that “this is not your true voice!” Once at this crucial crossroads, one can make a golden decision: to embrace prospect, or succumb to trepidation.
At the conclusion of the event, we all giggled at Kathleen’s catch phrase “Will I respond to a jerk by being a jerk?”— a proposition which went a long way toward tying everyone’s thoughts together about unnecessary negative imagery. If we can pigeonhole all of the fear-inducing people in our lives, without actually becoming one, we will then rise above our pessimism, regain power, and begin to navigate the world with grace and poise….the ultimate rewarding experience.